A fast and furious climax to the Stockton Town Centre Races saw Brenton Jones continue JLT Condor’s dominance at the top of the HSBC UK | National Circuit Series with three rounds remaining.
The fourth round of racing saw 65 riders descend on the north east, with JLT Condor already leading the way on 218 points in the team standings, their man Matt Gibson topping the individual standings with Jones in third.
But it was Jones’s turn in the spotlight on Friday night, timing his final sprint to perfection to cross the finish line first, with Enrique Sans (Raleigh GAC) and local rider Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel Canyon) completing the podium line-up.
Proceedings got off to a breath-taking start as JLT Condor set a searing pace, one that divided the field from the very off.
Graham Briggs claimed the initial lead before teammate Gibson took over at the front to start JLT’s domination, with early laps stopping the clock around the 1.41 mark.
Into the opening sprint of the night and Gibson continued to lead from the front, a pack of 15 other riders forming on his wheel, but it was teammate Alex Frame who took the first honours.
Change at the front
It wasn’t all JLT Condor however, as Madison Genesis and Bike Channel Canyon riders quickly got themselves into the mix at the front.
The 16 leaders maintained a hefty gap over the chasers though, the latter led by Rory Townsend as they tried to chase down the front-runners.
It was Tanfield who took the second sprint with Tobyn Horton and Frame crossing the line behind, as the pressure continued to pile up on the JLT Condor racers.
Four riders then launched an attack, with Horton, Frame, Jack Pullar and Sebastian Mora Vedri opening up a gap of more than ten seconds, home favourite Tanfield leading the chasing pack.
But they were soon reeled in, with three seconds separating the 15 riders as Mora Vedri led them into the third sprint.
Cat and mouse
It was another JLT Condor win in the sprint, Frame taking his second of the night as Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) and Pullar followed him in second and third.
Six riders from the team continued to pull the strings in the leading group, Tom Moses and then Briggs switching at the front to drive them into the fourth and final sprint.
Although riding for different teams, that one was a battle of the Tanfield brothers as Harry and Charlie finished first and third respectively, Gibson sitting in the gap between them.
With an hour of racing up and five laps to go, Madison Genesis’ Swift made a break as his teammates battled to neutralise JLT Condor’s numbers.
Jonathan McEvoy was the next to attack with two laps to go, opening up a gap of six seconds only to be caught on the bell as four riders put their foot on the gas.
But it was Jones who took victory in the end, moving his way up the pack at the last corner before nipping through at the last to cross the line first.